Visiting the TOYOSU MARKET
Toyosu Market took over the wholesale business from Tsukiji Market and opened 11 October, 2018. Tsukiji Innermarket had a traditional character - messy and old - people loved so much, but Toyosu Market looks like a warehouse building, but clean, organized and efficient.
It opens from 5 am to 5 pm. Closed on Sundays and national holidays and some Wednesdays. Please check the calendar on the website before you visit there.
The biggest advantage for Toyosu is Tuna Auction system. While at Tsukiji, it was on a first-come, first-served basis and you never know whether you can see the auction there. At Toyosu you can make a resesrvation on the website in advance. You may have a chance to see the tuna auction from the observation deck on the lower floor.
The move from Tsukiji Market to Toyosu Market was delayed for two years because of worry about contamination, including arsenic at the Toyosu site. Measures were taken to ensure safety, such as better water pumps and extra concrete sealing against possible contaminants.
There are three main buildings – two buildings for seafood and one for fruits and vegetables. All buildings are connected with each other and Shijo-mae Station (Yurikamome Line) is connected via walkways. Visitors can view the tuna auction from observation windows, or if you want to see it more closely, you can see it from the auction observation deck on a lower floor.
Fish Wholesale Market Building
The tuna auctions take place in this building between around 5:30 and 6:30 in the morning. It consists of two main halls: the hall for tuna auctions and the hall where seafood other than tuna is auctioned.
The building complex houses a small restaurant area and large glass windows area and an observation deck to view the auctions.
Visitors can watch down the tuna auction from several large windows along a corridor. The guide explained the tuna auction area has green floors, while all others have white floors. Buyers determine the quality and therefore price of the fish by checking its red meat. Red stands out best against a green background.
Fish Intermediate Wholesale Market Building
This is the building where many wholesale businesses have their shops and sell seafood to buyers. This is a fun place for visitors. Restaurants are on the 3rd floor, Uogashi Yokocho Market selling seafood, cheese, and knives and many others are on the 4th floor. You should visit the spacious rooftop garden to enjoy the view around Toyosu.
We found famous sushi restaurant and other restaurants that are familiar to us and there were already long lines. We had Oyako-donburi with A tasty soup. It was fantastic!
On the way, we found “Ginrin Bunko”, a library where a various materials and books on the Tsukiji Fish Market are stored. I met Fukuchi-san, Library Director, whom I had lunch together several years ago. I promised to visit her again.
I visited Toyosu Market to see Ms. Fukuchi, Manager of the Ginrin Bunko (Library) in the market. They have a brand new library with art space at the entrance. Every month artists display their artworks, mainly fish or the market, at the entrance.
Tuna Auction Observation Deck>This observation platform on a lower floor is separated from by only a single piece of glass. Visitors will go to a designated standing room area that sits above the auction floor and watch from behind glass. Visitors can hear the noise of the auction hall from this platform. An advance reservation is required to access this deck during the tuna auctions.
Three groups of 40 people each are able to view the auctions for 10 minutes each between 5:45 and 6:15. Applications for dates for a given month must be submitted in the previous month. Participants will be decided by lottery and informed a few days after the submission deadline.
Tuna Auction Observation Windows
Visitors are allowed to watch down the tuna auctions from several windows along a corridor. The windows are double-glazed and they block off all the market sounds.
The Fresh produce Wholesale Market
A long corridor with over a dozen windows provides visitors with views into the many small wholesale shops of the fruit and vegetable market.
Additional facilities including a hotel are scheduled to be built by spring 2023. If you want to purchase fresh seafood, please go to the Tsukiji Outer market.
Overall, the experience at Toyosu is very different from the lively, messy but charming Tsukiji. I had a good impression of Toyosu Market. Although it lost some nostalgic atmosphere, it is clean, well organized, and spacious, and provides superb functionality. Toyosu is almost twice the size at 40.7 ha vs. 23.1 ha.
Address: 6-3 Toyosu, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0061
The Yurikamome Line connects Shimbashi Station on the JR Yamanote Line with Shijo-mae Station in the center of Toyosu Market.